The statewide trout fishing season heats up beginning Saturday, April 24, when hundreds of lakes throughout Washington open for business and the annual statewide trout derby kicks off for 2021.
Opening day also marks the beginning of the annual statewide trout derby, where anglers can win prizes by catching tagged trout in lakes across Washington. There are more than 1,000 prizes available in 2021, with a total value of more than $38,000. The derby runs through Oct. 31.
WDFW stocks lakes year-round with a variety of species, including over 16 million trout and kokanee in the past year. Opening-day lakes are often stocked in the days prior to the opening of their six-month season. Those in the area include:
* Clark County — Battle Ground Lake, Klineline Pond, Lacamas Lake.
* Cowlitz — Horseshoe Lake, Kress Lake, Lake Sacajawea, Silver Lake.
* Skamania — Icehouse Lake, Swift Power Canal.
* Klickitat — Horsethief Lake, Maryhill Pond, Rowland Lake, Spearfish Lake.
More places to fish statewide are posted on the WDFW website.
To participate in the opener and the derby, Washington anglers must have an annual freshwater, combination, or Fish Washington fishing license valid through March 31, 2022.
Licenses can be purchased online; by telephone at 1-866-246-9453; or at hundreds of license dealers across the state.
Just catch a trout with an orange tag on its fin and keep the tag to claim a prize. A form to fill out will be posted at the WDFW website, and then take the tag to the business location provided to claim a derby prize.
WDFW asks all anglers to follow responsible recreation guidelines by practicing social distancing, wearing masks, and having a backup plan if their preferred destination appears too crowded. Give people space at boat ramps, parking areas, and other shared public spaces.
Fishing reports for waters in southwest Washington, including the Columbia River and tributaries as reported to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife on April 19.
Always check the WDFW website at wdfw.wa.gov/fishing for the latest fishing rules and regulations as seasons can change or close quickly if necessary.
Columbia River mainstem
John Day Pool — One boat/one rod had no catch.
John Day Pool — One boat/5 rods released two legal, five sublegal and one oversized sturgeon.
John Day Pool — 35 boats/89 rods kept 333 walleye and released 133 walleye.
John Day Pool — Two boats/seven rods released 20 bass.
Columbia River tributaries
Cowlitz River at Interstate-5 Bridge downstream — 54 bank rods kept one steelhead.
Above Interstate-5 Bridge — 30 bank rods kept 11 steelhead; 13 boats/34 rods kept 19 steelhead.
Drano Lake — 22 bank anglers had no catch; 94 boats/197 rods kept18 Chinook and released four Chinook.
Kalama River — 32 bank anglers kept one Chinook; 21 boats/42 rods kept one Chinook and released one steelhead and five cutthroat.
Klickitat below Fisher Hill Bridge — Six bank anglers had no catch.
Lewis River — 70 bank rods kept two Chinook, two Chinook jacks and released one Chinook jack; 23 boats/51 rods kept seven Chinook, one cutthroat and released four cutthroat.
Recent trout plants
Battle Ground Lake — 2,300 rainbow, 1.65 fish per pound from Vancouver Hatchery.
Horseshoe Lake — 3,039 rainbow, 2.32 fish per pound from Goldendale Hatchery.
Klineline Pond — 2,500 rainbow, 2.45 fish per pound from Vancouver Hatchery.